Budget Insanity! Or, how am I so broke?
June 27, 2012 12:47 AM Subscribe
I'm starting a job where I will make $700/week, with additional overtime after 60 hours per week (pretty rare). The job provides excellent health benefits that cost $80/month. I live in Los Angeles, I'm trying to live within my means, and I'm freaking out. It's hard to tell if my budget is out of whack - can you help me?
I figure that my take home pay will be around $540/week, or $2,160/month. I'm moving soon, but let's say that my rent will be $650/month.
Birth Control: $25
Health Insurance: $80
Credit Card Payments: $400
Savings account: $100
Dog food: $35
Dog walker: $225 (?)
That leaves me with $235 for everything else.
Is this insane? I don't think I can cut out the dog walker, unfortunately, because I work 12-hour days. And please look at my question history before giving me 'tude about having a dog.
I also have an expensive film photography hobby/passion, and I'm in a few writers groups that have membership fees, and, holy shit!, life is expensive. I don't want to give up my creative pursuits. I don't want to send my dog back to the shelter. Can I cut down my grocery bill? I'm trying to find a place that would be ~$600/month for rent, but I'm not optimistic.
I'd like to make more of a dent in my credit card debt, but I figure if I keep the payments lower, I can keep my spending on the credit cards lower. The only bills that I have recurrent on my credit cards are car insurance and my gym membership. And - shame alert! - my parents still pay my cell phone bill.
In short: Does this look like a reasonable budget, considering that I make very little money, live in expensive place, and have a dog (at least temporarily)?